Foods We Love: Asparagus
There is something oddly elegant about asparagus. The long green stalks are sophisticatedly slim, and their hue is both fresh and subdued. The textured tips are distinctly structured, and the taste is both flavorful enough to be enjoyed on its own yet gentle enough to not distract in a salad.
Asparagus is member of the Lily family of plants, just like the onion. Nutrient rich, asparagus is high in potassium, fiber, vitamin B6, vitamins A and C, and thiamin. Plus, a 5.3-ounce serving offers 60% of the recommended daily allowance for folacin, essential for blood cell formation and growth, as well as prevention of liver disease.
Asparagus is known to be native to the Asia Minor and Eastern Mediterranean areas. It was cultivated by Ancient Egyptians, and the Roman Emperors placed a high value on it. Aside from its pleasant taste, one thing that makes asparagus so popular is how quickly it cooks. In fact, “as quick as cooking asparagus” is an old Roman saying. Legend has it that the Roman emperors were so delighted with asparagus they employed a special fleet of ships for the sole purpose of fetching it.
Here is a way to enjoy asparagus with another luxurious feeling vegetable, avocado. This one comes to us from 101cookbooks.com:
Avocado Asparagus Tartine
Slice each tartine into four or five bite-sized pieces for a nice appetizer option as well.
4 toasted slabs of whole grain bread, rubbed with olive oil and a bit of garlic
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 lb of asparagus stalks, trimmed to roughly the length of your bread
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
1 avocado, pitted, peeled and smashed
a couple handfuls of arugula, tossed in a bit of olive oil
a handful of toasted pepitas, or almonds, or sunflower seeds
A few minutes before you want to eat, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When hot add the asparagus, and a pinch of salt and cook for about thirty seconds.
Add the garlic and caraway, and cook another thirty seconds, or until the spears are a vibrant green. Remove from heat, and assembly the tartines.
Give each piece of bread a generous slather of mashed avocado. Top that with a bit of arugula, a few asparagus spears, and a generous sprinkling of pepitas or seeds.
Prep time: 5 min - Cook time: 5 min
And when it’s time to get your dishes clean, pour in some Seventh Generation Free & Clear Natural Dish Liquid. Its plant-based cleaners cut grease, and it is free of dyes and synthetic fragrances.